Aakriti Mehrotra discusses three talking points about the Indian Super League game that finished Delhi Dynamos 2-0 Bengaluru
When Delhi Dynamos began the campaign with a 2-3 win over FC Pune, they certainly looked like they could finish the season in the top four. Things took a steep turn immediately after with the team losing six consecutive games, and failing to win a single match since.
Considering Bengaluru FC thrashed Dynamos 4-1 at Kanteerava, the visitors were expected to give a similar drubbing to Delhi at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. However, the home team managed to come out on top with an assured and confident performance and kept their hopes of survival intact.
Here are three things we learned.
Delhi Dynamos respond to Portugal’s declaration of treating this match as the final
The bottom-placed home side desperately needed a win if they were to keep any hopes of survival and ahead of the game against Bengaluru, coach Miguel Angel Portugal said, “For us now this match is like a final”.
Even though the win was not enough to lift the home side off the bottom of the table, it would still bring relief and satisfaction for the players and coach who have looked extremely uninspired for large parts of this season. Dynamos looked far better in the last couple of matches, but results still didn’t come their way. Against Bengaluru, their performance also came with three welcome points.
Delhi must treat every game like a final hereon.
Lallianzuala Chhangte is Delhi Dynamos’ key player this season
Chhangte was already a known face in Indian football when he signed for Delhi Dynamos this season. After coming into prominence when he became the second youngest goalscorer for India (against Nepal in 2015), his campaigns with DSK Shivajians and NorthEast United FC were not successful, and the exciting player receded to the background. The first ten games of this season have proved why Dynamos’ decision to pick him up was a shrewd decision.
Chhangte was in inspired form against Bengaluru in a game that seemed devoid of quality for large parts. The 20-year-old controlled the game and was critical in all the chances at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. His goal in the 72nd minute when Pritam Kotal’s perfectly weighted pass found the forward in the box, gave the home team a well-deserved lead and Guyon Fernadez’s penalty in the dying embers ensured Delhi walked away with three points at home.
The race for the title will go down to the wire
The loss to Portugal’s team meant Bengaluru remained second with 18 points from 10 matches. Albert Roca’s side trail league leaders Chennaiyin FC by just two points. Roca has to manage his squad between ISL, and AFC Cup and the coach acknowledged the same. “Another set of circumstances which we cannot complain about. I have to use all my squad if I want to compete on both fronts (ISL and AFC Cup) without suffering too many injuries”, he claimed.
With just four points separating the top four teams, the Indian Super League looks set for an exciting title run-in.
(Featured image via ISL)
Read all our Indian Super League content here